Prospective Analysis of Radiology Resource Utilization and Outcomes for Participation in Oncology Multidisciplinary Conferences
Anuradha S Shenoy-Bhangle, Niharika Putta, Michael Adondakis, James Rawson, Leo L Tsai
Acad Radiol . 2021 Sep;28(9):1219-1224. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2020.05.036. Epub 2020 Jul 1.
Rationale and objectives: Radiology participation is necessary in oncology multidisciplinary conferences (MDCs), but the resources required to do so are often unaccounted for. In this prospective study we provide an analysis of resource utilization as a function of outcomes for all MDCs covered by an entire radiology section and provide a time-based cost estimate.
Materials and methods: Following institutional review board approval, prospective data on all MDCs covered by abdominal radiologists at a single tertiary care academic center were obtained over nine weeks. A predefined questionnaire was used by a single observer who attended every imaging review and recorded the total time spent by the radiologists and several outcome measures. The total time recorded was used to provide a time-based cost estimate using a national salary survey.
Results: Six radiologists participated in a total of 57 MDCs, with 577 cases reviewed and discussed. 181 (31%) cases were performed at outside facilities requiring full reinterpretation. Clinically significant revisions to original reports were recorded in 107 (18.5%) cases. Radiologist input directly resulted in alteration of cancer staging in 65 (11%) patients and specific recommendations for follow-up diagnostic workup in 280 (48%) of cases. The mean total time devoted by the staff radiologist per week to MDCs was 18.7 hours/week, nearly a half of full-time effort, or 8% of total effort per radiologist. The total annual projected cost of radiology coverage for each weekly MDC was $26,920.
Conclusion: Section-wide radiologist participation in MDCs directly resulted in change in clinical management in nearly half of reviewed cases. This was achieved at a notable time cost, highlighting the need for efficient integration of radiology MDC participation into radiologist workflow and compensation models.
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